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Mayumi Azuma’s third installment of Erementar Gerade is all about observation and learning. From the scrutinizing eye of Cisqua, the leader of the Arc Aile team who follows the hero and his Edel Raid, to the mysterious onlooking of a dark, cloaked figure ready to buy the captured human weapons, the Edel Raids, there is no lack of new knowledge throughout this volume.
In the last volume of Erementar Gerade, readers were left in suspense after the kidnapping of Kuea and Challo, a couple of Arc Aile’s Edel Raids. Volume 3 drops readers right back in to the scene of the of the crime.
Just as the kidnapper and Edel Raid hunter Wolx, is about to sell his catch to his most valued buyer, Cisqua comes out of nowhere and delivers a speech disallowing the buying and selling of stolen Edel Raids. Wolx is dismayed, but chooses to fight Cisqua, thinking he is at an advantage since this spirited young female does not have an Edel Raid at her disposal. Cisqua proves that intellect is far more reliable than the brutality of a weapon.
Unfortunately, Cou, who has snuck behind the backs of the fighting trio to save the kidnapped Edel Raids, does not poses this intellect. He does, however, have determination and although he doesn’t know how to properly use his Edel Raid, Ren, he never gives up. Fortunately for him, the mysterious buyer calls her minion, another Edel Raid, away from Cou, declaring that winning is not the goal.
Upon first glance these human weapons look just like humans but through further scrutiny, their true nature is evident. Ren, in particular, is recognized by her fighting style. The quickness of her movements and the coloring of her gem, which every Edel Raid has and hides from public view, remind observers of a legendary type of Edel Raid that has been lost to the world for over 400 years.
The mysterious buyer leaves without buying the Edel Raids, believing that the information she was able to gain about Ren will be payment enough. Just who this information will benefit is not yet certain, but ultimately Ren has, yet again, proved herself worthy of the attention and intense observation of an outsider.
After the defeat of Wolx, the team makes its way to the next town. In the process, Ren overhears Cisqua’s plan to take her back to Arc Aile Headquarters. This is not good news for Ren, whose mission is to go to Edel Garden. When alone with Cisqua, she confronts her about the plan. Cisqua, at first, is defensive, but then admits that Wolx was right, that she may be a protector or Edel Raids, but that she is doing it for the money and glory.
At first, she too saw Edel Raids as just tools, but her opinion has changed through experience. Ren confides in her that she used to hate humans until she met Cou but now realizes that humans and Edel Raids are more similar than she initially believed. However, a seed of doubt is planted in readers’ minds when a particular thought passes through Cisqua’s mind. She says regretfully that perhaps if Ren were human, they could be friends.
Cisqua proves that she is more than a money hungry, overzealous lady when she promises to take Ren to Edel Garden before she turns her in to headquarters. Multiple sides of Cisqua are shown in this volume, proving the complexity of her character.
It is hard to tell at what turn she will be the nitty gritty, passionate fighter, the money-loving, selfish individual, or the more emotional girl, longing for a relationship with those around her. She plays the dominant role in this installment, but it is not disappointing to see less of the other characters.
Cisqua’s character development sees her struggle with how others see her and strives to fulfill the mission assigned to her by Arc Aile, while also keeping the promises she makes to Ren. Despite her struggles, she never seems to stay down for long, mainly because of the antics Cou, the main hero, gets himself into.
Once she has circled her way around the demands of Headquarters, the team moves on in their journey to Edel Garden, which lands them in an underground fighting and gambling ring.
Since Cou destroyed the last villain’s motorcycle and Arc Aile’s money had to go to its repairs, this fighting and gambling ring that allows Edel Raids to be used as weapons is the perfect cash opportunity.
Cou is the only one ready to fight, but proves unworthy of the opponents when he loses in the lowest ranking available. That’s not the only problem Cou is faced with. As their funds for the match entrance fee dwindles, the opponents continue to get tougher and more skilled.
Overall Rating: 4/5